Sunday, July 28, 2013

New Areas of Ghana

In to the Bush again. President & Sister Hill asked us to come with them to Oda. Oda is about an hour past Asamankase ( Were the Neilson's are). We had to leave on Sat. afternoon so we would not have to leave at 3:00 A.M. We drove up to Asamakase, went to a District (ward missionary meeting, some of the ward missionaries were still in High School ) meeting, then when to the Neilson's and had a yummy dinner, then went to stay at a motel. This is a view from our second floor window. Almost looks like Hawaii except the pool cleaner forgot to come. We had a very loud band at the party place next door until late, we got up the next morning and drove to Oda, so we could be there by 8:00 as President was interviewing some people as he was dividing  the Oda Branch.  

 This is the front of the Hotel we were the only guests. This cute little girl climbed up into my lap right at the beginning of sacrament meeting played with my necklace about 3 minutes, stared at my funny looking white skin about 5 minutes then decided I was safe. Leaned against me and slept for the rest of the meeting. Usually children this little are scared of us and won't come near us and even cry when they see us. Sister Hill is jealous that she came to me. Most of the older children like white people, probably because the missionaries are so nice to them .                  
On Wednesday mornings we go out and inspect missionary apartment, I look it over make sure it is somewhat clean.We make sure they have any supplies they need and Terry looks for things that need to be fixed he can fix small things with his little tool kit. He wishes he had a cordless drill. This is an apartment for 4 , their living room, the frig. and new microwave are in here, because their are no plugs in the kitchen. Pres. Hill sitting there, usually he is busy interviewing while we visit with the other missionaries.

I was so impressed today in Church all the meetings were wonderful, but in Relief Society we had a great lesson and it was taught by a lady, Sister Gloria, that had only been baptized the week before. She  had been investigating the church for 3 weeks before that.

 The band from the Univesity of  Accra who played original African music at the Gothe Insitute.  We attended with Pres. & Sister Hill on Friday evening.  The evening was cool, to Ghana standards. 

 Why Africa,  so I can sit in the Chief's chair in a place called the Palace,  we found real Coke, Pepsi and other U.S. products.  this shopping trip lasted from 9 am till 4:30 pm.  Yes it can take an entire day to buy three small bags of groceries.

It was wonderfully spiritual meetings for me today as I sat in church I asked myself why Africa and why an office couple when I seemed so ill prepared for such a call and yet I am learning and growing in faith. But the following musing came to me as I contemplated these thoughts.  Will we do all things we are asked, it is easy to sit in the comfort of our home and say yes.  But could I know and witnessed and felt what I have while being here and in this assignment.  Could my love for Heidi and respect for her talents and intelligence have grown as much as it has?  D & C 101:16 "Be still and know that I am God."  Are we being tested to see if we will do all things we are asked (Abraham 3:25).  I reflect on Zion's Camp and my great, great, great grandfather who participated, Alden Burdick.  He later died in 1845 at a younger age, faithful to the cause of Zion, prior to the Saints coming west.  It was said of effects suffered during Zion's camp. There were miracles such as water found by Joesph Smith digging in a meadow, and healing's.  Is this much different that the food and water provided by God to the Israelite's as they wondered in the desert with Moses.  It is not enough to say I believe one must do the will do the Father. (Matt 7:21) The act of doing shows our love.  John 14:15 If ye love me keep my commandments.  Because we are free to act 2 Nep. 2:16 & 27 we are free to choose.  What we are learning here will bless our posterity, and build the kingdom, in what ways we do not always know but we love Him and someday we will know.  With Heidi's help I was able to finally balance out a weeks worth of financial books.  An answer to prayer.       

Saturday, July 20, 2013

We did not post last Sunday because Terry was so sick with runny tummy, but he was better on Tuesday. The week before we had our first transfer day, we got 10 new missionaries. They arrived from the Ghana MTC at 7:00 A.M. This time we had 10 new missionaries, which was good to have a smaller group for the first time our Mission had a transfer.They spent the morning interviewing with and getting  to know the Mission President, talking to Sister Hill about health, taking their malaria medication etc. Terry gave them their bike helmet and light and phone, talked about their phone minutes etc and told them about their monthly budget and card. My part was to take some paper work from them and give or explain other paperwork. Then the President talked to all of them about the Ghana Accra West Mission, introduced them all to their new companions, fed them lunch and then by 2:00 they were off. Eight of our missionaries were from other parts of Africa and 2 were from the U.S. They of course have have different areas where there is a big learning curve, or cultural shock. Their new companions or trainers will be one of the keys to teaching them to be effective missionaries and also of course helping them with getting used to a new country and culture.

This week we welcomed 2 missionary couples back to Africa, one that had been home on sick leave for 3 months and are now back ready to complete their last 8 months, you have to admire them for coming back. They are about 2 hours outside of Accra, while they were gone their house had been burglarized and many of the things including their generator had been taken. They spent over a week here at the Temple housing, going back and forth to look for another house or apartment to live in and finally decided that they would go back to the house they were in because the others they found in the area and price were no better. They stayed right down the hall from us and we got to know them pretty well, they are great people and they are from Littleton, Colorado so of course that was in their favor too. The problem is they are in the other mission, but when they come to town they will come and visit us. The other couple the Daltons have been in Ghana for 23 months, they went home for 3 months and are right back for another 18 month mission. They are really up in the Bush, about 3-4 hours from us. They are in the furthest reaches of the West Mission - but we have several missionaries and Branches up there. They take care of those missionaries and the branches and the community. He had been a contractor and he is helping the people in the town design and build a school. They are so loved that they have had babies named after them

     This is the Daltons ready to serve their 2nd mission to Ghana.(at the airport)

 These are 4 cute Sister Missionaries from our mission, we only have 12 Sisters , 11 from Africa and 1 from
Fiji. They are great! We went with the Hills to visit them. We checked to see that their Apt. was safe and had everything they needed. They are going to be so excited this week our mission Pres. decided that all the apartments needed to have a Microwave. This will be a step up as right now all the Apartments only have what could be called a 2 or 4 burner camp stove. We hope that this will help all the missionaries especially the Elders to eat a little better.

It is always a joy to be with the missionaries.  I felt the spirit of the Lord brooding over the work and his servants, this week, even though most of them are young.  A spiritual experience I had this week, however unusual this may sound, was on Sunday as I was laying on the tile floor in the bathroom, because it was cool and I was having major runny tummy that caused me to sweat and be in pain.  I audibly ask the Lord to help me as I no longer had strength to be upright.  Within seconds Heidi came into the bedroom and asked why I was laying on the floor, and I said because I can not get up, she suggested that she find the missionaries and ask for a blessing. I asked if she would do that.  Often the missionaries from the Accra Mission stay around the Stake Center on the Temple grounds after meetings and teach.  She went out of the ancillary building and found elders LeauBeaus and Caleb just leaving the grounds and ask them to return and give me a blessing, she also ask Elder Scoville to assist.  The three of them came to the apartment, I tried to sit for the blessing but was too weak and laid on the bed.  The faith of these brethren, Heidi and Sister S. was felt and the blessing and was Father in Heavens answer, as I was able to keep water down in small sips and that evening had some saltine crackers.  By Monday afternoon I was feeling much better.   Earlier in Sacrament meeting Elder Caleb shared his story of conversion.  He was a active member of a Pentecostal faith and his father is the minister.  He and some high school friends decided to go to a party, but after getting there one of the boys said he did not feel comfortable being in the party and waited outside for his friends.  After they came from the party the boys asked the friend why he did not stay in the party and he said he did not think it proper to be in a place where the Spirit could not be.  Elder Caleb (not his real name), respected that and started asking questions.  Read the Book of Mormon and gained a testimony.  He is now serving as a full time missionary and hoping that his family may also gain testimonies of Christ's restored Gospel with its plan of happiness.  The faith and goodness of this generation of missionaries and goodness of God to us is felt and I am so thankful.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

First week of the Ghana Accra West Mission

July 7th

We posted last week but it appears it was lost in the bush, Heidi even included a bunch of pictures.  So we will try it again.  We had great adventures with our New Mission President and wife, the Hills, they are a fun down to earth couple.  We had the blessing of participating in two zone conferences, a tri-zone conference in Kaneshie and a trip to the bush in Abomosu with one zone.  In each of the two conferences the Spirit was strong and the power of the Priesthood felt as we were taught by the Zone leaders, Assistants to the President, mission president and wife and the missionaries themselves.  They have awesome testimonies.  We started with about 100 missionaries and adding 10 more this Wednesday and 18 more in August. It is difficult to add new apartments for they are rented for two years and payment is in advance.  Then the process of improvements such as kitchen cabinets, beds, fridge, propane cook stove, and adding all the items to feed and house a missionary, including poly tanks for water, with a pump are moved in by our physical facilities person, Benjamin.  We are so grateful to him and our office elders, for keeping ahead of the changes would not be possible without them.  We feel like we are just one step ahead of the vultures that sit on the area office roof each morning.  I think they do not dare sit on the Temple, which is in the same complex. (In this complex we have the area offices for western Africa, the Temple, an ancillary for housing patrons to the temple, and a beautiful stake center. Today we enjoyed our meetings at the stake center on the Temple grounds and witnessed the random call of a new bishops counselor.  A young man who works for the State Department in Agriculture and has been here 2 weeks, looked shocked as he was called from the audience and sustained as the second counselor.  I learned later that he was asked to serve during the Sacrament meeting, his wife home with the runny tummy.  It reminded me of calls issued so long ago, when brethren would be called during conference to serve a mission, and leave immediately to serve. Such faith and devotion.  We contacted two individuals we have shared referrals with the elders.  Isaiah, who attended Sacrament meeting with his brother who is from out of town and came to see his family in Accra.  I did miss a chance yesterday for a referral of a police man.  We were stopped on the way to the zone conference on a road side check.  The police ask me for my license and we have been instructed not to give it to them, so I explained where we were going and we do not give our licenses, Heidi has the presence of mind to tell me to give him my international license, which satisfied him but he was still not happy.  I thought later that I missed the change to share the Restoration pamphlet with him invite him to church then share a 5 minute discussion on the road side, I must repent and see everyone dressed in white ready for baptism and the temple.  I should have thought of that as he was dressed in a white tunic and white pith helmet, Colonialism is still to be seen in Ghana.

This is a picture of zone conference of the Abomosu Zone - in the Bush- the Hills and the Zone leaders are standing in the back

The FM group was visiting again today doing their yard duty

Notice the house built in the bottom of the tree trunk last time we saw something like this we were in Redwoods National Forest in California

Someone did remove my last post that I put up last week?????????????? 

We did have a very busy week this last week the first week of our New Ghana Accra West Mission, we were up every morning at 5:30 and did not get back to our apartment until 8 or 9 in the evening, this next week might be the same.Part of it is we have a lot to do, part of it is that we are not as fast as we were when we were younger, part of it is we don't know what the heck we are doing and part of it is that we are stuck in traffic all of the time. We miss our family and our friends, but we are loving being part of helping to spread the gospel. We are not like the young missionaries, we can get emails, so write us and tell us how you are.